Canada will fight again this Sunday for a spot at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup after a 2:1 loss to Mexico in the Semi-Finals at the 2023 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship. It was a well-fought match with all three goals scored in the last half hour, but Mexico’s Alice Soto sunk the heart of the Canadians when she scored the match winner two minutes into added time. Canada’s Kayla Briggs and Mexico’s Mailin Orozco were the other goalscorers.
“I’m gutted for the team because they left it all on the field,” said Cindy Tye, Canada Soccer’s Women’s U-20 Coach. “These are the games we want to be in so we won’t let what happened today define us. We still have a shot at the FIFA U-20 World Cup so we’ll reset, and move on to play Costa Rica on Sunday. We’ll be ready for them.”
Canada will face Costa Rica in Concacaf’s Match for 3rd Place this Sunday 4 June at the Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (12.00 local / 12.00 ET / 09.00 PT). The Sunday match will be broadcast live on OneSoccer, available as a linear channel on Telus Optik TV (Channel 980) and on streaming service fuboTV Canada, as well as online at OneSoccer.ca, via Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV devices and through the OneSoccer app for iOS and Android devices. Throughout the competition, fans will find extended coverage across Canada Soccer’s digital channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube featuring the hashtag #canw20.
Canada thought they opened the scoring in the third minute after Annabelle Chukwu pushed the Mexicans on their back heels, her teammates caused the turnover, and Olivia Smith put the ball in the back of the net. On the replay from the Video Assistant Referee, however, Canada were judged offside on the Ella Ottey pass back into the box and the apparent goal was disallowed.
From there, both teams created chances for more than an hour to no avail. Jadea Collin had a chance she put over the bar in the 33rd minute and Maribel Flores had her attempt hit the crossbar in the 40th minute.
Canada took the lead in the 65th minute when Briggs chipped the Mexican goalkeeper and two defenders to put the ball in the back of an empty net. Mya Archibald had started the play with a throw in from the right side and then Maalouf caused the pressure when her run forced the trio of Mexicans to leave their box.
Mexico responded in the 77th minute on an Orozco deflected shot and then scored the dramatic winner in the 92nd minute on the Soto shot from just outside the box. Canada fought back and managed to get the ball in the back of Mexico’s net, but Collin was well offside on her attempt for an equaliser.
Following Mexico’s qualification to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, USA also booked their ticket to the 2024 tournament with a 2:1 win over Costa Rica. As a result, Canada and Costa Rica will face each other Sunday for the third and last Concacaf spot to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.